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Hull KR sign Gold Coast pair

Hull KR have signed Gold Coast Titans half-backs Albert Kelly and Maurice Blair as the replacements for departed overseas pair Travis Burns and Kris Keating.

New Hull KR signing Albert Blair Credit: Press Association

Both Kelly, 23, and Blair, who turned 30 on Thursday, were under contract with the Titans for another 12 months but were released to enable them to sign two-year deals with the Robins.

Their capture takes the club's tally of new signings to eight for the 2015 season as head coach Chris Chester rebuilds the side that failed to reach the First Utility Super League play-offs this year.

Burns was sold to St Helens while Keating was released by mutual consent after a disappointing first season in England.

"They're two very exciting players and we're really pleased to add them to our squad for next season," Chester said.

"They both have good kicking games, they're strong defenders and we are expecting Albert in particular to set the Super League on fire in the halves.

"We've done our homework on the pair of them and we are really confident they will be a good fit both for the club and the Super League competition.

"I'd still like to bring another half-back in as well as these two. The good thing about Maurice is that he can play left centre as well and he'll also be challenging for a spot in the team in that position."

Kelly, a former Australian schoolboy international, has scored 18 tries in 47 appearances for the Titans and Cronulla while Blair has made 99 NRL appearances for Penrith, Melbourne and the Titans.

Titans head coach Neil Henry said: "They were given a rare opportunity to play together as halves by Hull KR and they get the security of two-year deals.

"We feel we have good depth in the halves here so we agreed to allow Albert to take this opportunity in the Super League and, at 30, Maurice has the chance to extend his career which we are also happy to accommodate. We wish them both great success over there."

Seven former Leeds United players named in Premier League's top 100

Seven former Leeds United players have been named in the top 100 greatest ever Premier League players.

Former Leeds Skipper Lucas Radebe was named as one the Premier League's greatest players Credit: Press Association

The Daily Telegraph released its list of the "Premier League's 100 greatest ever players."

Frenchman Eric Cantona was the highest former United player on the list at number eight.

Rio Ferdinand was next at 17, with Robbie Fowler (26) and the late Gary Speed (29) both in the top 30.

David Batty (76), Lucas Radebe (78) and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (79) were also named on the list.

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Belgian player reveals Leeds owner Cellino's superstitions

Freddy Frans has revealed the chaos that surrounded his proposed move to Leeds United prior to moving to Partick Thistle.

Suspicious mind: Leeds United Owner Massimo Cellino has strong superstitions Credit: Press Association

The Belgian centre-back looked set to secure a switch to Elland Road.

Then-Leeds Head Coach David Hockaday was interested in the move, and invited Frans to have talks with United owner Massimo Cellino, and that is when things took a rather strange turn.

Frans told the Daily Record: “I thought I had seen everything when I left Belgium – but then I arrived at Leeds.

"I was so happy to be signing for Leeds as well, it was a big step.

"My agent spoke to the owner and he said if Hockaday liked me I’d sign. I played two games and he said he wanted to sign me.

“I had to give him details about my star signs and all this stuff. He doesn’t like the number 17 or the colour purple among other things.

“We heard a few strange stories, like the one about Paddy Kenny not getting a deal because his birthday was on the 17th. Crazy.

“I was so happy to be signing for Leeds as well, it was a big step.

“But then I started to get suspicious as the deal wasn’t done and two Italian centre-backs arrived.

“Still Hockaday said he wanted me but they lost in a cup-tie to Brentford and he got sacked so I was back to Belgium.”

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Sheffield United deny Ched Evans contract reports

Sheffield United has denied reports it has offered a contract to convicted rapist Ched Evans, claiming newspaper reports are "false and damaging to the club".

Ched Evans was released from prison yesterday. Credit: PA Wire

Following Evans' release from prison yesterday, The Sun newspaper reported that the 25-year-old's former club had offered him a two-year contract.

But Sheffield United co-chairmen, Kevin McCabe and Jim Phipps, said they were still "continuing to deliberate on any long term decision about Ched Evans."

On Wednesday, an ITV News Calendar poll found 52% of people were against him rejoining the club.

Sheffield Utd patron to quit role if club re-sign Evans

Sheffield United patron and TV presenter Charlie Webster said she will quit her role with the club if they re-sign Ched Evans.

TV presenter and Sheffield United patron Charlie Webster who said she will quit her role with the club if they re-sign Ched Evans. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The 25-year-old former Sheffield United player and Welsh international was released from jail early yesterday morning after serving half of a five-year sentence for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room.

Many Blades fans have called for him to be rehabilitated, but almost 150,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Bramall Lane club not to welcome him back.

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